Opinion articles

The donkey strategy

The donkey strategy

A scantily clad singer belts out another frivolous song, and not only does her video clip get banned, she has her travel privileges revoked. A university blogger dares to criticize the system only to find himself officially ostracized and harassed. As this is taking place, a former head of Lebanon’s telecommunications company, himself under investigation

Taxation without representation

For 12 years running, Lebanon has been without a budget. This does not mean the state hasn’t been collecting revenue and spending it. Rather, it means there have been no clear-cut priorities, nor a strategic vision guiding how the government manages taxing and spending. During the past five years, the problem of finding revenue to

Stonewalled

Executive didn’t get past security at the Grand Serail. It was March 3. The access to information law was just over a month old, and we were barking excitedly, unsure if whether we were even in front of the right tree. In hand were requests for minutes of cabinet meetings. We were hoping to reach

An industry-wide upgrade

Times of change and upgrades of operating systems are confusing events, or, in today’s economic lingo, disruptive. Few things can be more disruptive than the abrupt upgrade of a whole industry to a higher level, forcing it into new ways of doing business and, inevitably, altering its whole identity in the process. That’s what’s currently

Rare opportunity

Lebanon just got a new tool to promote government transparency and accountability, as well as prevent and fight corruption. Entering into force in February 2017, a new access to information law allows anyone to request specific information from virtually all government entities. From doctors needing public health data, researchers looking for economic and social indicators,

Protect us from the modern plague

When modernity was sending out its first rays of thought in the Enlightenment Age, thinker Thomas Hobbes wrote speculatively that the natural state of man is “war of all against all.” Overcoming the universal conflict to him was the central historical argument for the formation of states. Captivating and influential as his frightful idea of

Dashing our hopes for reform

Back in 2013, Parliament extended its own mandate in part to allow it more time to agree on a fair and representative electoral law. Instead of spending four years working toward this goal, the legislature did very little with the four extra years in office it granted itself. From the second the ink dried on

Recourse to reform

I can remember hiding from the bullets and bombs in the bathroom with my mom and brother. My father was out trying to earn a living, and the worry that he would not make it home made me sick to my stomach on a daily basis. We lived in hell as militias destroyed this country

Free minds of Lebanon, unite!

Our economy is in tatters, and we lack uninterrupted basic services like electricity, water and waste management. There is no acceptable explanation for why our country is near ruin. Fixing these problems is simple, and 2017 is our last chance to change course. There are plenty of free minds in this country that understand how

Starting afresh

While 2016 was full of surprises, in our own backyard the year’s developments simply helped reconfirm what we already know and once again exposed the extent of our vulnerability and dependence. Our region’s fate is in the hands of superpowers, influenced by any number of special interests except, of course, the best interest of local

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